There has been a lot of press lately about educators and their inappropriate use of social networking sites like facebook. The latest was an educator in Massachusetts who was asked to resign after posting negative comments about the school district she worked for. (She thought she was only sharing with ‘her friends’.) Also in Lee County Florida teachers will be returning back to school under a new policy, forbidding them to communicate and friend their students on social network sites.
I’m not debating here the possibilities of using social networks within our schools to promote communication, collaboration, and engagement of students. (If you are interested in Facebook as an Instructional Tool check out this post.) Instead I’d like to address the idea that as educators (school staff, teachers, teaching assistants, paraprofessionals, administrators: anyone who works in schools) we need to be professionals and model good behavior for our students. This behavior doesn’t end at the school building, or out in the community, but also extends to the digital world as well. The digital world not only is where most of our students spend a lot of their time, but also is a world that can be saved, shared, edited, and distributed around the world and can (and will) exist forever. The saying, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays on Youtube (or facebook),’ is true.
In order to address how to be professional in a digital world I have created a series of informational sheets, including this ‘Before you click send…’ resource for our teachers.
Being a Professional in a Digital World: Social Networks and Sharing Information –
With a new school year starting, we need to make sure that we are professional, positive, and productive in the digital world.
Other resources to check out:
Ten Commandments for Teachers on the Web for a great discussion about how teachers need to act on the web. The comments add a good follow-up and good thoughts from various educators.
Every Teacher’s Must Have Guide to Facebook Has some good dos and don’ts for teachers.
Should Educators be afraid of having a Facebook Profile? This addresses not only privacy settings and how to keep your profile safe, but also ways to use facebook educationally that won’t jeopardize your privacy.
6 thoughts on “Being Professional in a Digital World”
Good insight! I’m glad we are both helping each other spread the word about the dangers to educators and their careers caused by inappropriate internet usage. We also both imply that teachers shouldn’t simply avoid the internet, but instead use it with great care. Perhaps I’m going too far here, but the internet seems like an open fire. There are so many positive/wonderful uses for fire, but if irresponsibly used it can have disastrous consequences. One interesting thing I keep hearing in my research is that the internet is so new to the human race, we are learning TOGETHER how to use it as we go.
Keep up the good work!
BTW, would you please do me a favor and mention that my blog was part of your research for this article? I am trying my best to build my blog’s success to something as great as yours! I would appreciate it!
Got it mentioned in the resources, and referred to the discussion going on there.
I agree that the Internet has pros and cons, but with the pros for a positive digital footprint far outweighing the cons.
Really nothing has changed, as educators we have always needed to act professional- the digital world simply is a different medium that like you said is new so many of us are learning as we go.
thanks for the comments,